The chorus of John Farnham’s chart topping ‘You’re the Voice’ is as powerful now as when first released in 1986. I suggest it resonates even more so in 2020 with an evergreen message which was a highlight of the Fire Fight Australia Benefit 2020.
You’re the voice, try and understand it – Make a noise and make it clear – Oh, whoa
We’re not gonna sit in silence – We’re not gonna live with fear – Oh, whoa
I have been humming this tune for weeks after LinkedIn launched the feature to record a 10 second introduction message. I am really excited about this tool as a voice is a vital part of a personal brand and is truly unique.
A personal brand encapsulates a promise and expectation of more to come. What you say and how you say it makes an impact, be it negative or positive. And likeability and trust of consistency is part of that brand expectation woven across all verbal and written communications.
Name recording feature
The LinkedIn feature rolled out is ‘Name Pronunciation’. The title doesn’t do the tool justice, but was created by the developer team to address global issues of linguistic gaffes and pronunciation confusion. The purpose was essentially to make communications smoother in real life. A great idea for sure.
But the feature has so much more value than to just pronounce a challenging name correctly. I wonder if LinkedIn realised the positive unintended benefit as it is a brilliant tool to capture a window into ‘brand you’.
After introducing your name clearly you have the opportunity to share a snippet of what you do, your value and personality. Just stating a name alone will sound boring and dry so why leave it sitting in the audio abyss. Use the 10 seconds with intent and purpose.
And trust me, after listening to close to 100 messages so far, I can confirm there is plenty of time to get a message across without skimping. Economy of words is a valuable skill to sharpen at any time and this will help fine tune your brand introduction for all occasions.
It’s super easy to set up from the updated LinkedIn App (Android or iOS. Currently you can only record a message on the App but can listen to all messages on both mobile and desktop. Official information here.
One fun part is the ability to re-record at any time. New season’s, greetings, launches, new services PR news all come to the mix. So like the rest of your profile, keep it fresh.
Be your ‘best’ real self
But the most important part is to be your real self and show up authentically. If you don’t speak with a haughty plum in your mouth don’t record like that. Likewise if you are the doyen of the Queens English don’t try to sound like an ocker. You should aim to be the best version of your authentic self.
No matter who you are or what you do, not everyone is going to like you. And that is actually a great reason to come back to Farnham’s chorus “make it clear, not gonna sit in silence” etc. If you are a loud outspoken character be that, similarly if you are quieter and considered be that also.
That best version of ‘brand you’ has to sit where rhetoric meets reality. Why would you want to attract a client or interview under a false pretence of expectation? Like photographs and all other information on your LinkedIn profile, the 3 C’s must be applied: be current, consistent and congruent to when you are in the flesh, Zoom or phone.
Elements of good vocal delivery
Ok with 10 seconds you will want to get the delivery flowing as best as possible. Now I’m not a vocal coach, but if you sound anything like Daffy Duck or Pauline Hansen perhaps a professional may be worth engaging for general voice training and presentation confidence. Below are the 6 key elements of a vocal delivery for impact:
- Volume (Loudness)
- Pitch (Rise and Fall)
- Pace (Rate)
- Pause (Silence)
- Resonance (Timbre)
A great resource to learn more about each element is from Inter-Activ Presenting & Influencing
Using your voice in personal messages
There is also another tool to amplify your actual voice on LinkedIn. It’s worth checking out the Inbox messaging feature to record a personal message to connections. Recorded again only on mobile devices, recipients of messages can access on both mobile and desktop.
With 60 seconds to record a personal message it’s a neat tool to show personality, surprise and delight, share information and have some fun. And don’t we all need more of the latter. Official information here.
Don’t be silent
2020 is the toughest ever and careers and business are jostling to survive and thrive. And as John sang… make a noise and make it clear. Use the voice tool features to differentiate yourself and your brand. Enjoy, record, don’t be silent and as ever remember ‘your vibe attracts your tribe’.